Author: Helen Simonson
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2010-03-01
Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love? Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand proves that sometimes, against all odds, life does give you a second chance.
Author: Helen Simonson
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 2014-05-14
Genre: Country life
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?
Author: Helen Simonson
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Country life
Major Ernest Pettigrew isn't interested in the modern world. But when his brother's death, and a love of Kipling, sparks afriendship with the widowed village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali, the Major is forced to confront the realities of the 21st century.
Author: Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2016-03-22
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal . . . a delightful story about nontraditional romantic relationships, class snobbery and the everybody-knows-everybody complications of living in a small community.”—The Washington Post The bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand returns with a breathtaking novel of love on the eve of World War I that reaches far beyond the small English town in which it is set. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master. When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing. But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war. Praise for The Summer Before the War “What begins as a study of a small-town society becomes a compelling account of war and its aftermath.”—Woman’s Day “This witty character study of how a small English town reacts to the 1914 arrival of its first female teacher offers gentle humor wrapped in a hauntingly detailed story.”—Good Housekeeping “Perfect for readers in a post–Downton Abbey slump . . . The gently teasing banter between two kindred spirits edging slowly into love is as delicately crafted as a bone-china teacup. . . . More than a high-toned romantic reverie for Anglophiles—though it serves the latter purpose, too.”—The Seattle Times “[Helen Simonson’s] characters are so vivid, it’s as if a PBS series has come to life. There’s scandal, star-crossed love and fear, but at its heart, The Summer Before the War is about loyalty, love and family.”—AARP: The Magazine “This luminous story of a family, a town, and a world in their final moments of innocence is as lingering and lovely as a long summer sunset.”—Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us and co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society “Simonson is like a Jane Austen for our day and age—she is that good—and The Summer Before the War is nothing short of a treasure.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
Author: Richard Madeley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-07-04
Richard Madeley's first novel plays beautifully into the heart of commercial fiction, a love story with intrigue and betrayal at its core James Blackwell is sexy and handsome and a fighter pilot - every girl's dream partner. At least that is what Diana Arnold thinks when her brother first introduces them. Before long they are in love and marry hastily just as war is declared. Then fate delivers what is the first of its cruel twists: James, the day of their wedding, is shot down over Northern France and killed. Diana is left not only a widow but pregnant with their child. Ten years later, contentedly remarried, Diana finds herself in the south of France, sitting one morning in a sunny village square. A taxi draws up and she hears the voice of a man speaking English - the unmistakable voice of someone who will set out to torment her and blackmail her and from whom there can be only one means of escape... 'Immaculate storytelling, pacy and beautifully written' Sadie Jones 'A beautifully told tale... Madeley is a lively and engaging storyteller. We can't praise this novel highly enough' Bella
Assigned to a ceremonial post in Mancreu, British consul and Afghanistan war veteran Lester Ferris is compelled to disregard widespread underworld activities while bonding with a comic-addicted youth who during a violent uprising desperately relies on him for help. By the award-winning author of Angelmaker.
From Mark Haddon, the bestselling author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, comes a dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family life. Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister and her family to join his family for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Against the backdrop of a strange family gathering, Haddon skillfully weaves together the stories of eight very different people forced into close quarters. The Red House is a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly guarded secrets and illicit desires, painting a portrait of contemporary family life that is at once bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt.
In this sparkling debut novel imbued with the rich intrigue of Kate Atkinson’s literary mysteries and the spirited heart of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, a disparate group of Londoners plunge into a search for a missing American actress. In the dreary days of November 1965, American actress Iolanthe Green has become the toast of the West End. Charismatic, mysterious, and beautiful, she brings color and a sprinkling of glamour to the scuffed boards of Soho’s Galaxy Theatre. But one evening, after another rapturously received performance, Iolanthe walks through the stage door, out into the cold London night, and vanishes. All of London is riveted as Fleet Street speculates about the missing actress’s fate. But as time passes and the case grows colder, the public’s interest turns to the unfolding Moors Murders and erupting political scandals. Only Anna Treadway, Iolanthe’s dresser at the Galaxy, still cares. A young woman of dogged determination with a few dark secrets of her own, she is determined to solve the mystery of the missing actress. A disparate band of London émigrés—an Irish policeman, a Turkish coffee-house owner and his rebellious daughter, and a literature-loving Jamaican accountant—joins Anna in her quest, an odyssey that leads them into a netherworld of jazz clubs, backstreet doctors, police brutality, and seaside ghost towns. Each of these unusual sleuths has come to London to escape the past and forge a new future. Yet as they draw closer to uncovering the truth of Iolanthe’s disappearance, they may have to face the truth about themselves.
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel about loss and recovery, pierced throughout with her humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles. Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron grew up fending off a sister who constantly wanted to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead—in their house, on the roadway, in the market—help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually, Aaron discovers that maybe for this beginner there is indeed a way to say goodbye. “Like a modern Jane Austen, Tyler creates small worlds [depicting] the intimate bonds of friendship and family.”—USA Today “An absolute charmer of a novel . . . With sparkling prose . . . [Anne] Tyler gets at the beating heart of what it means to lose someone, to say goodbye.”—The Boston Globe “Classic Tyler . . . The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage.”—Los Angeles Times “Beautifully intricate . . . By the exquisitely romantic emotional climax [an] ordinary life has bloomed into an opera.”—Entertainment Weekly Don’t miss the conversation between Anne Tyler and Robb Forman Dew at the back of the book. This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-07-24
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST “[Rachel] Joyce’s beguiling debut is [a] modest-seeming story of ‘ordinary’ English lives that enthralls and moves you as it unfolds.”—People (four stars) Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live. A novel of charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise—and utterly irresistible—storyteller. Praise for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry “[A] gorgeously poignant novel of hope and transformation.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “A cause for celebration . . . [Joyce] has a lovely sense of the possibilities of redemption. In this bravely unpretentious and unsentimental take, she’s cleared space where miracles are still possible.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is not just a book about lost love. It is about all the wonderful everyday things Harold discovers through the mere process of putting one foot in front of the other.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America’s most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh. In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online. For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn’t play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them—and Amina returns to Bangladesh—that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together. The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations—and real-life complications—of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds—sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina’s heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2009-05-10
The beloved, life-affirming international bestseller which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide - soon to be a major film coming in April 2018, starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton To give them hope she must tell their story. It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book – she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through their letters, the society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books – and the long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever.
Author: Paul Harding
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2013-09-10
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • American Library Association • Kirkus Reviews A stunning allegorical novel about one man’s enduring love for his daughter In Enon, Paul Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal tragedy. Grandson of George Crosby (the protagonist of Tinkers), Charlie inhabits the same dynamic landscape of New England, its seasons mirroring his turbulent emotional odyssey. Along the way, Charlie’s encounters are brought to life by his wit, his insights into history, and his yearning to understand the big questions. A stunning mosaic of human experience, Enon affirms Paul Harding as “a contemporary master and one of our most important writers” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. “Harding conveys the common but powerful bond of parental love with devastating accuracy. . . . [He] is a major voice in American fiction.”—Chicago Tribune “Paul Harding’s novel Tinkers won the Pulitzer Prize; its stunning successor, Enon, only raises the bar.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Extraordinary . . . a darkly intoxicating read . . . [Harding’s] prose is steeped in a visionary, transcendentalist tradition that echoes Blake, Rilke, Emerson, and Thoreau.”—The New Yorker “So wild and riveting it’s practically an aria . . . Harding is a superb stylist.”—Entertainment Weekly “[Charlie’s grief], shaped by a gifted writer’s caressing attention, can bring about moments of what Charlie calls ‘brokenhearted joy.’”—The Wall Street Journal “Astonishing . . . a work of fiction that feels authentic as memoir.”—Financial Times “Read Enon to live longer in the harsh, gorgeous atmosphere that Paul Harding has created.”—San Francisco Chronicle From the Trade Paperback edition.
A dream of a novel." --Erica Wagner, The Times (London) Following The Winshaw Legacy--Coe's ecstatically reviewed American debut, winner of the John Lewellyn Rhys Prize in England and France's coveted Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger--comes this beguiling, eccentric entertainment. Ashdown--a vast clifftop manor on the English coast--was once a university residence, where a group of students met briefly before going their separate ways. Twelve years later, it has been transformed into a clinic for sleep disorders, and a series of strange coincidences and ostensible synchronicities draws the same group of people together once again, each of them in different ways plagued by sleep. Sarah is narcoleptic, and her inability to distinguish between dreams and waking reality gives rise to a great many misunderstandings--one of which is to change Robert's life forever, as he persists for years (and then some) in his attempt to win her love. For Terry, a disillusioned film critic whose career has been derailed by Sarah's affliction, sleep is merely a memory, for his insomnia is complete and he can only yearn for the tantalizing dreams he enjoyed in youth. And for the increasingly deranged Dr. Dudden, who has made the subject the focus of his medical practice, sleep is nothing less than a global disease. With panache worthy of Nabokov, and with the heart to match his sophistication, Jonathan Coe has written a breathtakingly original comedy about the powers we acquire--and those we relinquish--when we fall asleep, or fall in love. "This is a remarkable book, most impressive for its subtle narrative patterning, like a dapple of light and shade, allowing us to indulge the illusion of understanding its characters, until, all at once, the darkness, the isolation and the mystery return. Perhaps most strange of all, for a novel about insomniacs, The House of Sleep is a wonderful bedtime read." --David Nokes, Sunday Times
Author: Martha Alderson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-09-15
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
When it comes to writing bestsellers, it's all about the plot. Trouble is, plot is where most writers fall down--but you don't have to be one of them. With this book, you'll learn how to create stories that build suspense, reveal character, and engage readers--one scene at a time. Celebrated writing teacher and author Martha Alderson has devised a plotting system that's as innovative as it is easy to implement. With her foolproof blueprint, you'll learn to devise a successful storyline for any genre. She shows how to: Use the power of the Universal Story Create plot lines and subplots that work together Effectively use a scene tracker for maximum impact Insert energetic markers at the right points in your story Show character transformation at the book's climax This is the ultimate guide for you to write page-turners that sell!